Dry flaky skin can be unsightly, embarrassing and unpleasant
Do you suffer from dry flaky skin? If so you’re not alone, dry skin problems and flaky skin problems affect millions of people. Dry flaky skin can be irritating, it can be itchy and it can be unsightly. It can be inflamed, and can lead to other problems. So what causes flaky dry skin, and what can you do about it?
First it should be said that there are a range of causes of dry flaky skin, some medical, some environmental, some you can do something about and some you cannot. However there are also some general principles that are worth discussing.
Dry skin is generally the cause of flaky skin. As your skin dries out it can begin to shed parts of the top layer of skin, and this is what happens. So a big part of helping reduce skin flakiness is to tackle the dryness.
Dry skin can be caused by both medical conditions and medications, and the first thing to do if you are suffering from dry skin is to eliminate the likelihood that there is some underlying medical condition which is causing a problem. Usually this is not the case, however it is always worth visiting your doctor to find out. And if you’re on any form of medication ask your doctor whether the medication can cause dryness in your skin.
There’s a range of environmental factors which can also cause excessive dryness. Anywhere where the environment has extremely dry air can be drying for the skin. For example if you work in a highly air-conditioned building this dries the air.
And other environmental factors can also dry the skin, for example being exposed to strong dry wind. Any area where you are exposed to low humidity can also do this.
Taking long extremely hot showers or baths can dry your skin.
Various products, and their use, can cause problems with skin dryness, and soaps are a good example. Overuse of various brands of soap can dry your skin. Bubble bath can.
And age can cause dryness and flakiness, older people often find that they begin to experience these problems later in life, yet did not do so when they were younger.
So if you’re experiencing dry flaky skin, not caused by medical conditions, what can you do about it? Here’s a few general principles.
1. Invest in some high quality skin care products that moisturise effectively. Your skin is dry because it does not have sufficient levels of oil. Your skin produces natural oils all by itself, and when these become depleted, or example by any of the methods mentioned above, it will become drier. So using high quality skin care products that moisturise your skin effectively will help reintroduce some of those oils.
There are some excellent natural skin care products available which, when used daily, will help reintroduce a better balance of skin oil, and will start to reverse the problem. There are some excellent natural ingredients which worked very effectively at restoring the balance of oil in the skin. Shea butter for example, a major ingredient in high quality skin care products, is very good at this.
2. Use high quality fish oil supplements daily. There is good evidence that a daily dose of fish oil is not only good for a wide range of health problems, but is extremely effective at helping maintain the levels of oils in your skin. Whilst it might not have occurred to you, taking fish oil supplements is one of the best things you can do for your skin. If this is the first time you’ve heard the suggestion then we strongly suggest you give it a try, whilst a little counterintuitive, you may well be amazed at the improvements you experience in your skin when you begin taking fish oil supplements.
3. If you’re working or living in a dry environment by a humidifier. A humidifier reverses the problem by reintroducing moisture into the atmosphere, and will help considerably.
4. Avoid long, extremely hot, baths and showers and find a soap that does not dry your skin. We personally love some wonderful handmade soaps that are available in our area and would only ever use those, however they are not commonly available elsewhere, and you will need to search out some high quality soaps. Avoid your common supermarket soaps.
5. If you are suffering from flaky skin exfoliate regularly along with the tips suggested above to reduce the level of skin dryness on the surface.
6. If you’re outdoors and it’s going to be hot and windy then protect your face and apply a moisturizer when you return.
If you’re suffering from flaky dry skin you may well find that these simple steps will reverse the problem, steps one and two alone will make a big difference to your skin.
And don’t forget, is important to consult your doctor. There may be an underlying medical condition that needs treating.Written by - Natural Skin Health